Aadhaar Data Leak: A Privacy Breach

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It was only last November that the UIDAI asserted that “Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI”. On Wednesday, The Tribune purchased a service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp that provided unrestricted access to details for any of the more than one billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far.

It took just ₹ 500, paid through Paytm, and ten minutes in which an agent of the group running the racket created a gateway for this correspondent and gave a login ID and password. You could enter any Aadhaar number in the portal, and instantly get all particulars that an individual may have submitted to the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), including name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email.

Leakage of Aadhaar data reveals that the project has failed the privacy test. At the recently concluded 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, India submitted a written position on e-commerce, opposing the demand for negotiations on e-commerce by the US and its allies. The latter were demanding access to citizen’s database for free. The revelation also means that the proposed data protection law will now hold no purpose, as the data has already been breached. The state governments must immediately disassociate themselves and cancel the MoU signed with UIDAI,” said Gopal Krishan, New Delhi-based convener of the Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties, who appeared before the Special Parliamentary Committee that examined the Aadhaar Bill in 2010.

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